Robertson on Australian TV: The massacres in 1915 were certainly genocide

Leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC has appeared on the ABC’s Lateline program and Sky News Australia to discuss his latest publication on the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian National Committee of Australia reports.

Robertson is currently in Australia to promote his latest publication “An Inconvenient Genocide: Who now remembers the Armenians?”, which was launched to the nation’s media at the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday 21stOctober.

In an extensive interview with Lateline program host Emma Alberici, Robertson “cleared up any confusion” that the Armenian Genocide was “genocide”, and also called on Australia to fix its denialist position on the matter.

His publication, published by Random House, is groundbreaking in that the high profile Queen’s Council and former United Nations Judge presents a compelling argument based on fact, evidence and his knowledge and expertise of international law, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the horrific events that occurred in 1915 do indeed constitute genocide.

In this interview, Robertson stated: “I want to clear up any confusion and to explain and I’ve been an international judge, that applying the law, the genocide convention, which our own Doc Evatt introduced to the United Nations in 1948, that what happened – the massacres, the death marches in 1915 were certainly genocide.”

He added: “And the problem with the Turkish denial is that they say, ‘Well, this wasn’t genocide, it wasn’t a crime at all. It was relocation.’ Well it wasn’t relocation. It was death marching. And it’s important to establish that you can’t claim military necessity as some sort of defence to genocide, otherwise you find Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka justifying the killing of 40,000 civilians get at the Tamil Tigers. You find the Pakistanis justifying the killing of three million Bengalis in the war in 1971.”

“These are genocides pure and simple and there is no defence of military necessity of anything else to the destruction of a race or part of it.

He went on to draw parallels between the Armenian Genocide and the landing at Gallipoli, and called Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop “foolish” for denying the Armenian Genocide.

Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia), Vache Kahramanian, welcomed Robertson’s remarks on national television.

Kahramanian said: “Geoffrey Robertson QC is one of the most respected human rights lawyers internationally. His publication and remarks on Lateline and Sky News will be a catalyst for changing Australia’s foreign policy on the issue of the Armenian Genocide.”

The full Lateline interview can be watched at http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/lateline/video/201410/LATs_Geoffrey_2010_512k.mp4.

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